The Maple Spring as the Background for the Flourishing of the Fifth Estate in QuÃ©bec
AbstractThe political disengagement of the Millennials has long been a subject of scholarly debate. Using ethnographic research methods, our lab conducted a multi-sited field study to investigate the digital practices of some of the community networks that have emerged or consolidated since the Maple Spring. Our field findings suggest that the Millennial student protesters â€“ alongside citizens from all generations who have lent them their support â€“ have actively engaged in their own forms of political participation and by doing so, have helped to firmly entrench the Fifth Estate in QuÃ©bec society. In particular, we have found that these grassroots networks might have expanded QuÃ©becâ€™s alternative press by using interactive technologies to self-publish, self-represent and self-document issues that are of great concern to them and have typically not been topics up for debate on the public agenda. Our analysis brings to the fore the fraught relationship between the Fifth Estate and the four traditional democratic institutions.
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